Keeping Your Fuel Oil Furnace Running Effectively All Winter Long

If you use fuel oil to provide warmth this winter, you know that it delivers a strong heat source once your furnace is running. Maybe you take for granted walking through the door at the end of the day to a warm and cozy atmosphere. Now is the time to think about caring for your fuel oil furnace so that you're not stuck shivering in the cold once temperatures begin to plummet outdoors. Here are just a few ways that you can keep your fuel oil furnace running at its best this winter.

Have A Complete Furnace Inspection

It's important before winter starts to have a complete furnace inspection. If you didn't get one done last fall, now is the perfect time to have your HVAC pro come out and take a look at overall furnace performance. Some things that they will do include:

  • Doing a combustion efficiency test
  • Performing a smoke test and overall adjustment for a clean fire
  • Inspecting of the end cone and heat exchanger
  • Servicing the oil burner 
  • Replacing gaskets and oil filters if needed
  • Cleaning the oil burner fan
  • Checking the overall operation of the entire unit

Depending on the age and overall condition of your fuel oil furnace, your heating contractor will make sure it's working properly and troubleshoot for any potential problems.

Replace Your Existing Furnace Filter

Because fuel oil furnaces don't burn as clean as gas, a buildup of soot or other contaminants can easily occur within the furnace. One of the first places where dirt can quickly build up is in the filter compartment. Making sure that you change out your filter every three months is essential in having a properly working fuel oil furnace. You may wish to upgrade to an electrostatic filter or HEPA filter, which may help trap more particles and make the air in your home easier to breathe in.

Make Sure Your Home's Duct Work Is Cleaned Frequently

Having an annual duct work inspection can help improve the air quality in your home. The pros will come out with a camera and look deep within the nooks and crannies of your furnace's ductwork. From there, dirt and bacteria causing debris will be extracted and removed. An antibacterial solution will then be applied to help repel future dirt particles. In some cases, an accumulation of soot can backup and clog your ductwork as well as the discharge chimney. Having the area inspected and cleaned could prevent a backflow of fumes from entering your home and harming your family.

Don't Let Your Home Heating Oil Supply Run Too Low

Making sure that your furnace stays filled up with fuel throughout the year is very important. Letting the fuel run below the low fuel level can cause sediment to get carried into the fuel lines and clog up filters that keep the fuel moving freely past. Remember that home heating oil prices often fluctuate. Set up routine fill ups and consider a monthly budget plan to keep your fuel tank full and your furnace operating at its best capacity.

Now is the time to call your heating oil company to set up an appointment time to fill your tank. A steady fuel source in addition to routine furnace care will keep you warm and toasty this entire winter.